By Jennifer Hiller
HOUSTON (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp on Friday reported a quarterly profit that topped analysts' estimates, pushing it shares up nearly 3 percent in premarket trading as its oil and natural gas output rose slightly on a year-over-year basis.
The company's fourth-quarter net income fell to $6 billion (4.6 billion pounds), or $1.41 a share, from $8.38 billion a year ago, as margins weakened in its crude, chemicals and refining operations.
However, analysts had forecast a $1.18 a share profit excluding one-time items, according to data from Refinitiv.
Exxon's oil equivalent production rose to just over 4 million barrels per day, up from 3.9 million bpd in the same period the year prior. The company said its output in the Permian Basin, the largest U.S. shale basin, rose 90 percent over a year ago.
Exxon Chief Executive Darren Woods credited the better than expected results to the company optimizing its operations across the board, in remarks broadcast on CNBC.
Shares were up nearly 3 percent to $75.36 in premarket trading. They are down about 13 percent in the last year.
(Reporting by Jennifer Hiller in Houston; Editing by Nick Zieminski)